Wifey Wednesday: Marriage Recovery After a Pornography Addiction

Working Towards Intimate Sex After Porn Addiction Recovery: You can find true intimacy again!

Is intimate sex after porn addictions even possible? That’s what we’re going to look at today. Every Wednesday this blog talks marriage, and today we’re going to tackle something that’s a HUGE problem plaguing many marriages today: pornography.

Perhaps your marriage hasn’t been touched by pornography, and if so, that’s wonderful. But I still encourage you to read on, because porn is so prevalent, and we have to understand it just to help our husbands and sons, as well as our friends who are going through this trauma.

The effects of porn are devastating. Pornography addictions are now one of the largest causes of divorce. Porn is wrecking marriages. It’s also wrecking men’s libidos, and it’s one of the largest causes of men’s reduced sexual interest. In one study I read recently, college aged males were having far less sex with actual people because they were so addicted to porn. Now, of course, I don’t want college aged males to be promiscuous with actual women, either, but the point is that here’s a group that is notorious for sleeping with many partners, and yet they’ve stopped because porn is easier. And once you become addicted to porn, you tend not to want the real thing.

That’s true in marriages, too. Not all marriages experience this, but slowly but surely a man who is addicted to porn becomes less interested in sex with his wife. When he is interested, he tends to want to try more extreme things. And he also has difficulty making love without fantasizing, because what porn has done is rewire his brain to think of images as erotic, as opposed to relationship. Thus, most men who are addicted to pornography cannot actually get aroused without concentrating on a few images in their brains first.

So can your marriage recover from a porn addiction? And can sex after porn ever be intimate again? Let’s look at some steps to real recovery and intimacy.

1. Understand that Porn Use Can Be an Addiction 

When men say “it’s got nothing to do with you”, they honestly mean it. Men are wired, much more so than women, to be aroused visually, and so pornography is a huge temptation for them. And it’s so easy to access today. Once they start watching, though, they tend to need more and more to get the initial high that comes with it, in the same way that an alcoholic needs more and more drinks to feel tipsy.

It does change the chemical balance in the brain, and it is an honest to goodness addiction for many men. That doesn’t mean it can’t be broken; it’s just that many men WANT to break it, but don’t know how. They feel great shame about it, in the same way that an alcoholic feels shame.

If your husband has a porn addiction, you’re going to be angry when you learn. You’ll feel disgusted, ashamed, and probably a little vengeful. That’s only natural. But when you calm down, try, as much as you can, to also feel a bit of sympathy. Listen to your husband’s heart. If he is repentant, but doesn’t know how to stop, then help him. If he isn’t repentant, then lay down some pretty firm rules and an ultimatum. A marriage can’t survive a porn addiction long-term. It is cheating, whether he admits it or not. He may not think of it that way, but it is stealing his sexual interest from you, and it is undermining the whole basis for your marriage.

2. Help end the Porn Addiction.

You need to take some action to end the addiction. It would be nice if he could stop all on his own, but it’s rarely that easy. We don’t ask an alcoholic to stop drinking when there is still a ton of alcohol in the house. In the same way, your husband can’t just stop his porn addiction without removing the internet lure.

So either drop the internet temporarily altogether, or get filters installed. Talk to him about this. He may be leery at first, but make it clear that if he wants to stay in the marriage, he needs to take these steps. And please, try to do it in a loving way. I know you’re angry, but if you blame him and lecture him you’ll just drive him away. How much better to tell him instead that you want to work towards rebuilding your sex life, and making it satisfying for both of you. You want to achieve true intimacy. You want your marriage to be rich and close and beautiful, and this is the first step towards that.

And often that means involving a third party. Here’s a response by a former porn addict on how he managed to quit–and advise for wives in that same situation.

3. Do not be his Accountability Partner

Most men will need some sort of an accountability partner to recover from this, similar to a buddy that people are matched with in AA. You can’t be that partner, because he can’t be honest with you if he’s tempted again.

Churches need to go out of their way to start accountability groups for men in this area. We need to step up to the plate, and if you can grab the pastor’s ear and suggest it, then do so. Encourage your husband to find a godly man that can hold him accountable. Some computer programs can automatically send an email to someone of your choice if you go onto a questionable website, so that the partner can literally monitor his web use.

Be aware, too, that he likely will fall in the initial period. It’s very hard to break an addiction, and he’ll be moody, twitchy, and angry. He can’t be perfect overnight. And occasionally he’s going to fall, whether it’s at work where he still has internet access or when he’s in a hotel or something. If he does fall, he’s going to feel even worse.

Have you ever tried really hard to lose weight? Or quit some food that you don’t want to eat anymore? It’s hard. And remember how awful you feel when you grab one and stuff it down? This feels way worse. Remember that just because he falls does not mean that he isn’t still moving in the right general direction. If he remains committed to breaking the addiction, then forgive him. And encourage him to talk to an accountability partner about it.

And if he won’t seek an accountability partner? I’d really question his commitment to seeking porn. If he is truly sorry, then he will want to get help. Sometimes, of course, getting accountability is hard because it may endanger your job if you confess. If your husband is in ministry, or on the mission field, and is addicted to porn, here are some more thoughts that can help.

4. Rebuild your sex life–it is possible to have great sex after giving up porn!

Here’s the hard part. Pornography, fantasy, and masturbation go hand in hand. For males, you rarely have one without the other. So if a man tells you that he’s addicted to pornography, it also means that he fantasizes and that he masturbates. It’s gross to think about it, I know, but it’s true.

To get out of that cycle so that his physical desire is channelled towards you again is often a very long process. Understand that from the outset. Rediscovering intimate sex after porn is not going to be an easy road, but it is one you can travel together.

First, you have to give him the freedom to be honest with you. If you want to rebuild intimacy, he needs to be free to tell you when it’s not working. Because pornography rewires the brain and tells a man that what is arousing is an image rather than a person, many men actually experience impotence without external stimulation (the images they’re used to seeing). So many men, in order to have sex with their wives, start imagining and fantasizing about those images.

That may be a shock to some of you, and I’m truly sorry. This is such a difficult thing, I know, but remember that God can help you get through anything.

You need to leave room for God to work, though, and show your husband forgiveness and grace, because most men who are recovering truly do want to get better. It’s just very difficult for them. They’re scared that they’ll never be able to really have sex again without the pornography.

So make a plan that you want to help him get reacquainted with true intimacy. Spend some time, perhaps a week or so or however long it takes, not actually making love. Lie naked together and get used to touching each other again. Look into his eyes. Let him experience the erotic nature of just being so close to someone he loves. Take baths together. Explore each other, and take things very slowly so that he can see that he can become aroused just by being with you. If you try to go too fast, you can push him into fantasy again in order to “complete the deed”. Instead, spend some time letting him discover that he can become aroused once again by being with you. But this is much easier if there’s no pressure, and if you spend a lot of time just being together naked, talking, kissing, and exploring.

My book 31 Days to Great Sex can help with this, because I confront the dangers of pornography head on and explain how it changes the libido. And then I provide exercises that you can build on, little by little, step by step, over the course of a month so that you do start to feel more intimate again.

Usually when we think of rebuilding sex lives we think that we have to somehow compete with pornography. We want to be so arousing that he won’t need it anymore, and so we go the lingerie route, or we decide to try new things. That actually feeds into his addiction, because what he really needs is to experience the sexual high that comes from relational and spiritual intimacy, and not just from visual arousal or fantasy. It’s not that you can never wear lingerie again; it’s just that in the initial recovery period, the aim is not to be “porn lite” in your marriage; it’s to help him channel his sexual energy in a different direction: towards you. If you try to just act out pornography, you actually encourage him to keep those fantasies in his head alive, and you do nothing to retrain his brain.

So take things slowly, and let him know that if he needs to take a break because his mind is wandering, it’s okay for him to tell you that. You’d rather he be honest so that he can get his heart and head right and start again.

Rebuilding sex after porn means spending a lot of intimate time together, perhaps reading Psalms, or Song of Solomon, while lying together. I know that sounds corny, but honestly, when you are spiritually close, the sexual feelings often follow. One of the sexiest things you can actually do together is to pray, because it is so intimate. And it’s the kind of intimate that is the exact opposite of fantasizing, so it helps keep those impulses at bay.

Good Girl's Guide to Great SexBut believe that God can restore your marriage.Throughout this whole process you will need some support to continue showing grace and forgiveness, and to get over your initial revulsion. Talk to maybe one close friend or mentor, but don’t talk to everyone you know, even “in confidence”, because then they will always think of your husband in a certain way.

He can make it even more intimate than it was before. He can take you to new heights together. But it’s a process that takes time, and will inevitably have some setbacks. That doesn’t mean you’re not progressing; just be patient, rely on God, and believe that you can reach the other side together.

My book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, helps couples see the beauty that God intended for sex, and has a big section on how to rebuild intimacy after a porn addiction.

Comments

  1. >I would normally blog about this and link up, but my husband really doesn't like discussing this. This struck our marriage extremely early in our relationship. And I do mean early. I never knew my husband looked at porn when we were dating. I assumed that he had because, well 1 because he's a man, and 2- because he spent 6 years on a Navy Ship with a bunch of other men. I just figured that it had stopped.

    Long story short-I found out I was pregnant, started gaining weight and began to discover my husbands problem was a lot bigger than I initially thought. He would take the computer or his cell phone [which had internet] in the bathroom and sit for literall an hour. I started to question and he was furious. He told me I didn't trust him, and then I started to check up on him. Pull the history on his phone every chance I could, check the computer history…and every time I found something I asked him and he would lie. And I knew he was lying. I felt betrayed. I felt ugly and unnattractive to him and I was depressed…something that was NOT good for me since I was pregnant.

    The breaking point didn't come until March of 2009, when our son was about 5 months old. We were moving to our new house and I checked my husbands phone again. He had finally owned up to what he was doing and admitted it to me. He swore he had stopped, but I could always tell when he was falling back into it again. He pulled away from me emotionally and sexually, and he pulled away from God. He was upstairs napping and when I found porn on his cell phone history again -from the day before and that day-I left him a note, got in the car, and left.

    I ignored phone calls for hte rest of the day and I cried for probably 4 hours. Then I went back and told him that he had to choose. Me and our son, or the porn because I wasn't going to compete with it and I wasn't having it in our house. That day we changed our phone plans to no internet and installed covenant eyes [a great software program for this kind of issue].

    Since then, our marriage has taken a turn. We are more open and honest about things now. I know that this is something that my husband struggled with and we do everything to prevent a downfall again. We don't watch movies with nudity, if I go to Victoria Secret, I go alone. I don't ask or expect him to help me pick out lingerie. We have built a strong group of Christian friends who help to keep him accountable, and I watch what kind of magazines and catologues lay around the house.

    I admit I was extremely hurt. I thought about divorce and felt totally and completely worthless. My self esteem was awful. After I had my son, I even attempted starving myself to lose the baby weight because I didn't feel good enough for my husband anymore. But when I finally stopped denying it and ignoring the pain and really allowed myself to feel it, I was able to start recovering.

    It was a choice I had to make to get up every single day and forgive my husband for it. It definitely didn't just happen. And it was hard. It was hard to resume intimacy with him because I didn't feel good enough. There were many times where I couldn't even hold back the tears and cried the whole time because I was hurting so bad.

    I encourage anyone who's facing this to tackle it head on. It's not easy, but it's worth it to move through it. Talk to your husband. I almost gaurantee that he is wanting to admit his failure to you, but he's ashamed and afraid of how you will react. Keep a journal-that's what I did. Write out your pain. Talk to a girlfriend. Pray. Alot. Dig into your bible and cry out to God, because I promise he will heel the pain you feel. I was absolutely devastated and I can honestly say that right now I am more in love with my husband than I have ever been in my life. And feel free to contact me if you just need someone to talk to. Because I've been there. But God repairs everything.

    Sorry this was so long. Great post.

    • Courtney, I am going through this very thing right now and have been for the last year except mine had to step it up a notch from just the reg Porn, he took it to Asian Shemales, Asian Lady boys and live streaming with web cam plus he brought home his own web camera. This makes me think he wishes I was asian. I dont know what all he is doing but I can tell you that God has been good to me by dropping things in my lap. I’ve never had to venture far to find out most of whats going on. He starts watching at 8:30 in the morning and sometimes doesnt stop until 3:30pm in the afternoon. We havent had sex in 6 months and then before that it was just as long of a break. I’ve reached an all time low for self worth and personal outlook. I’ve recently started taking anti depression pills because it hurt so. I’ve told my husband of 18 years over and over again that he is not trap and he needs to be happy and hiding things, lies and chatting with other women is not making ME happy so instead of him having to change I will leave. Over and Over again he did not want us to divorce. I hate going home now for fear of what the heck is in my own home or what has happened in it. I tried leaving Friday August 10th but he told me I wasnt going anywhere. Its probably sad to say but he was the love of my life. I cant remember when I have ever desired anyone else or looked at anyone else as I have him BUT in the words of Tina Turner, whats love got to do with it. I did tell him this very thing. I told him if he wants to work through this and save our marriage then no more porn..period. I am going to give it MY last shot which is to try and follow a little of the article above and rebuild our love life. I talked to him about this and although he seemed irritated at the thought he agreed to try. I conveyed to him that if we still havent made any headway in our love life in the next month and a half then its time to go our seperate ways. I physically cannot live my life like this anymore. I dont want to wake up another day and wonder who he will be chatting or caming with today and I’m tired of feeling like a huge pile of crap physically and mentally. Now I dont even want to come home anymore and I love my home. Lastly, I’m scared to death of the unknown and what it may hold if we do go our own ways but I know that God will see about me and take care of my healing. Thank you for sharing your story Courtney. I hope that I will be as fortunate as you and your husband. ;)

      • Hi Jen,

        I’ve struggled with porn for 15 years now. It’s a big demon to overcome.

        The three things that have helped me the most is the support of my loving wife, an iPhone app called ‘Brainbuddy’, and avoiding the computer as much as possible.

        I hope this helps!

    • hi im new to all this, I also have a problem with my husband being addicted to porn, it really sucks! I have been struggling with this for 4 years now, I have cought him hiding in his car watching porn constantly, he always denied it, he hardly had any sex or any at all with me, it is such a hurtful thing. I once just about had it and snuck up to his car window and he didnt even notice he had earphones on and his window was down, I was so mad that I ripped the earphones off his ears snatched his i pad, and started yelling like a crazy woman at him, stomped his i pad on the floor and told him to leave my home, that I was no longer going to pretend like it was ok, I had already had enough of his perverted ways. He apologized and begged for forgiveness and said it had nothing to do with me and that I have more than a man could ever want, but I didnt care, but eventually I forgave him, he did stop for a while but then he started up again, then same thing, apology, fight forgive, promise and so on, so now I have checked his phone and he always deletes all history, that makes me very suspicious, he spends alot of time down stairs in the loundry room, I asked him about it and he denies it, but I know he is lying to me again, he got all offended and went to sleep in the living room, we just made 20 years jan 9 this year, its hard to let it go, even though im pretty sick of it. the worst part is, that its not like im a bad looking gal, im 34yrs he is 43, we are to damm old to be fighting over this he needs to get his act right, or I dont know what will happen, sorry it took me for ever guess I got carried away, please help

  2. >Isn't God amazing? I actually posted something about this last night on my blog. I didn't go into details out of respect for my hubby, but you get the general idea!

    This struck early on in our marriage, too. My husband confessed to me and immediately underwent counseling as an individual and then we attended marriage counseling.

    It was horribly painful and every once in a while the memory for me will pop back up, but it's pretty rare.

    God has restored our marriage and we are truly living out our love story!

    Praise and honor go to Him!

    • A week ago I would have been saying amen Sister and telling you that my Husband and I were also healed and living out our love story. It had been seven and a half years of rebuilding trust and loving like we had never loved before. it was wonderful and i felt so blessed to have this Man who finally after many years of on and off porn finally found his way threw it to be a man of integrity. Well I can’t say that now, on Tuesday this past week I felt that something was off so I asked him if he would really tell me if he was looking at things he should be. He said yes but then grew very quiet. He confessed to me that he has been viewing porn again over the last month and a half. This hurts way deeper than it use to in the old days!!!! I don’t know what to do…..Any advise would be helpful….

  3. Kiesha @ Highly Favored says:

    >I admire your courage for sharing this post with us, Sheila. And Courtney and Jamie – your honesty in sharing your experience is to be commended. Often people want to push things under the rug instead of talk about it.
    I can't personally say I've contended with a porn addiction – but that's not the only thing that can hinder intimacy in marriage. My husband tends to get obsessed over hobbies- terribly to the point that they hurt our finances – then there's food and we both tend to overeat and sometimes those addictions get in the way of us connecting. Sometimes weeks pass and nothing… but I've learned not to bark and nag anymore, but instead I allow him to receive the consequences that comes with his actions – even if that means I'm hurt by them by association.
    When we talk, I'm honest with him about how I feel and somehow, I'm sure with God's help, we get through it. Forgiveness is a recurring, everyday process that is truly the only way to make it through life's challenges as they present themselves in marriage.

  4. >This is such a great topic ! I think so many people like any area in society that has been labeled bad & taboo peoples reactions to it are to hide it , keep it secret etc. If we are healed and truely dealing with and dealt with the addiction then we will not be afraid to talk openly about it .
    The biggest thing with denial is in the end truth is still there;-)
    All your points and discussion are so good !
    I can speak from expereince in regards to a friend who did not deal with the issue in her marriage . her partner had a porn issue before they had children . She herself is alcoholic dropped in and ourt of AA whenever she felt she was better . Addiction never goes away really we are always capable that is why it is so important to be on top of our behaviours , triggers etc. cleansing , owning , ammends .
    Anyway my friends partenr ended up increasing in his porn addiction and it later led to him abusing her and thier children . She hid deeper in the bottle . The result was severe disfuction now in her adult children and I am sorry to say three of her adult children have now gone on to marry the same types of partners .
    This is what happens when addiction is not dealt with children precieve the behaviours as normal . They mimic etc. they learn to fill thier loniness with addiction just like the parents .
    I am a recovered narcotic user . It was vital to my childrens lives I try my best to seek help and not pass on the disfunction ! No one is perfect of course but acknowledging there is a problem is crucial .
    Thanks so much for posting this . I'm writing a blog post soon which will include the topic of addiction on my blog about abuse . I will link it to your artcile here .

  5. Gina Parris says:

    >Thank you for sharing this topic. As someone who had to work really hard to overcome a serious addiction to compulsive eating, I have a little more sympathy for anyone struggling with any kind of addiction, as I know it's never really about the thing being consumed.

    I have a whole lesson in my upcoming program "The Romance Rescue" about porn and stuff that makes us deeply angry. Hooray to you brave gals for sharing your stories. Bless you!

    Gina
    Why I'm talking about Love and *gasp* Sex http://www.ginaparris.com

  6. >I just want to say that this all applies to a woman addicted to porn as well. I struggled for several years with it. Initially it was because I wanted to educate myself about sex and how he might be able to please me when I first got married.

    We were both virgins when we married, but my husband worked with some people who told him a LOT about it and I always felt like I just didn't know enough. We had a teribble wedding night: I had no libido (I blame the birth control I was on) and we were never able to achive intercourse (that didn't actually happen until several years in our marriage). He would keep asking me what I wanted to arouse me but I had no idea! I pushed him away sexually because I didn't want the physical pain of attempting intercourse and the emotional pain of letting him down.

    So anyway, the internet directed me into sites that I should have steered away from when I was doing my "research." We finally did achieve intercourse (not without pain unfortunatly) but the porn addiction didn't stop. It wasn't actually until our son was born that I stopped. I haven't looked back since. But it's still a terrible secret that I have from my husband.

    I am praying for the courage to tell him. Even this morning it was in my mind and I felt convicted to tell him today…. it was easy to tell myself that because I wasn't at home :)

    We still have major issues in the bedroom (all mine, physical and emotional) and I know that the porn has to do with it now. Our initial issues could be due to an old boyfriend molesting me. There's all these excuses and none of them are fair to my husband.

    I am praying that the right opportunity comes along to confess to him. This was a good reminder that we can't live with a secret like this. Unfortunatly for me it has very good timing….. I just don't know how to tell him!

    Anyway, that's kind of related to you post but I wanted to (sort of) get it off my chest. (By the way, my word verification: pained)

  7. >Thank you Sheila for the brave informative post. And thank you sisters for being brave enough to share your stories here.

  8. Anonymous says:

    >Update: I told him. He told me that he has struggled as well due to the difficulties we have had with our sex life. We are going to work on it. Maybe I can convince him to come to a counseller with me. God's timing with moving your to write this post is amazing.

  9. Gina Parris says:

    >God bless you, Anonymous friend. You're in our prayers.

  10. Anonymous says:

    >Our divorce after twenty years of marriage will be final next week. I discovered last summer that my husband had an ongoing problem with pornography and prostitutes that had been ongoing since his college days, during our dating, engagement, and throughout our twenty year marriage. This all came to light with his arrest in a prostitution sting.

    By the time I learned the entire story, several months later, tens of thousands of dollars had been spent, our children's college funds were gone, and we were very close to losing our home because of the financial toll of the pornography and prostitution.

    This is an issue that does need to be addressed in our churches and faith circles. I had no awareness of such issues and therefore did not recognize the signs of a problem at the time.

    I am grateful for many things–
    neither of us ever had any sexually transmitted diseases (I am being tested every six months); everything came to light while there was still time to save our home; Christian counseling was and is available to us as a couple and individually; God has been faithful throughout these months; and the list goes on…

    Sheila, thank you for sharing this post. Our marriage did not survive the pornography and prostitution, but our family did survive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much for posting your story. Like you my marriage will not survive the porn addiction that has gone on during our entire 16 year relationship. I keep reading about marriages that have survived this addiction and I am happy for them truly, but I feel bad about not wanting to put any more time into a marriage in which I tried and tried so for many years not knowing that I would never get the reciprocation I so desperately wanted from my husband because of the addiction.

      I will continue to do everything I can to help him recover as a friend not a wife. We have a wonderful son together. Your last sentence gives me hope “Our marriage did not survive the pornography and prostitution, but our family did survive.”

  11. >Yes, porn is a guy problem but I am so sick of hearing about it being a guys problem. Some of us ladies have struggled with it too, and the frustrating thing is that with men, everyone talks about it and helps them, but with women people just think we are freaks and unnatural and there is NOTHING out there to help US. We have to get through it with NO help at all, while the men get all the help in the world!

  12. >Thank you all for sharing so much and being so honest! I think we're just touching the tip of the iceberg, so I'm going to continue along these lines over the next few weeks with some more posts.

    And Mrs. W., I understand where you're coming from. One of the anonymous posters above gave a really moving story of what happens when women also get into pornography–albeit for different reasons. It's just as destructive.

    Men are still the primary users of porn, but I think for them it's more straightforward. It's simply lust. For women it gets really complicated, and I think actually has the potential to mess around with our brain wiring even more. This is an important issue, and an ever-growing demographic, and I'm going to come back to it, probably next week, once I have time to do it justice.

    So never fear–we'll address the other side of it, too!

    • Dear Shaila! I first did not like to confess. I am a single 27 year old man with very strong religious connections, I was first in masturbation (by mental imagination, no net or video) when i was 15 and it was terribly done for 3 years (almost every day I masturbated) and I felt terribly ashamed, reserved (bad time), in 1993 I managed to get rid of it by a spiritual experience (I have 3 downfalls in the first months) but recovered completely and I recovered all my self esteem and work perseverance, I admitted uni and continued till I got my Msc. Then I got a fianace whom we separated soon (We loved each other, but family issues prevented us to marry which still sometimes my mind wishes her). That was my start of going through pornography in modern style (by internet). I repented immediately and promised God not to come back, 1 week or 2 weeks later again. This took for a year (1.5 years ago)
      Since then I have reduced it (it happens once a month or once every 2 months), but it happens and and have started to feel bad of myself. I cannot share this with any friend as this deed is so immoral here. I do not presume I am an addict because I think I can handle it myself. I have tried to get married several times and I know she (whoever she is) could be a good cause for me to stop. My connection to God prevents me from getting girl friends.
      I need your help. Thanks again Sheila.

  13. myfathersdaughter says:

    >Bravo for touching this topic! I think that there are so many Godly women out there suffering with sexual issues and they feel that they are not able to trust anyone enough to share or to glean help from. Shame, fear and condemnation can be overwhelming and cause individuals to stay in a place of "safe" darkness while they are being consumed from within….
    I will share from a different aspect as well-I apologize ahead of time if anyone is offended by my honesty and bluntness-I was a victim of tremendous childhood sexual abuse for the first 141/2 years of my life. Although I had several abusers, my primary abuser forced me to look at pornography beginning at the age of 10 until the age of 14. While viewing pornography I was forced to masturbate while he watched.He was violent and sadistic and I was terrified of him. Although my abuse ended at age 14, these events negatively affected me for many, many years. Firstly, I became addicted to masturbation- secondly the only way that I was able to climax was to replay that pornography in my head, or any sexual scene I had seen in a movie, or in a book- I did not continue to partake of pornography but it didn't matter because I had been exposed to so much that I had enough on the inside of me that my mind never had to search far to pull up a memory of all that I had been exposed to. It is amazing the capability of the mind to retain things that you even try to forget. Because I was a child who was not properly parented on any front I was reading V.C. Andrews books at 9 and 10 years of age and had always watched movies that had inappropriate sex scenes in them. I got married at the age of 19. Although I had been very primiscuous before marriage, once that wedding ring was on my finger I wanted NONE OF IT! Because then I felt like I had to– for years I avoided making love to my husband as much as I could because when I did the only way I would be able to climax would be to think perverted thoughts- thoughts of being abused, thoughts of being raped, or to dredge up the pornographic scenes I had read or seen. My mind had been unnaturally re-wired at this point to only respond in a sexual way to abuse or perversion- or to fantasize of other people involved in non-abusive sex-but not me–this became an escape for me as well from the actual experience of sex with my husband-which was a very scary thing to me because of all that had happened to me- This made me feel dirty and disgusting and dysfunctional and GUILTY! The enemy could have destroyed me with the depth of agony and despair that these issues brought to my inward parts as I was a young Christian who really did have a heart to serve the Lord and yet had all of these strongholds in my life that I did not know how to break free from… Because I did not enjoy sex, I wanted it to be over as soon as it could be when we did make love and so thinking those thoughts was the quickest way for it to be over…. at any rate… 14 years later here we are- God has redeemed, restored and HEALED me from this addiction- He has step by step taught me how to make love to my husband in the way that He intended–enjoying sex between husband and wife as the gift that He intended it to be. All that is to share with anyone out there who may be struggling in a similar way- there IS hope- I am obviously unable to share the whole process of healing here but am always willing to share, in a more detailed way, with anyone who is needing HOPE. The Lord truly is bigger than any trap that the Lord would attempt to ensnare us in.

  14. myfathersdaughter says:

    >I meant that the ENEMY would attempt to ensnare us in!!

  15. >During the first year my Husband & I we we're dating, I came across his porn, dating websites, & pictures on his laptop history on two different occassions. I was upset that my boyfriend was interested in this type of stuff, & it definitely made my self esteem drop big time. I confronted him about the problem & told him basically that i didnt care for it & he agreed & promised that since he was no longer single that he really should have no use for it & that was that. Two years later..now married trying to conceive our first child w/ no success,a month before our wedding anniversary, I went to use my laptop & everything had been deleted off of it, & i knew immediately something in my gut told me that something wasnt right, so I confronted him w/ my 'cleaned out' laptop & his response was 'he had to clear it b/c the internet was running slow'..now my husband has a degree in computer technology & I'm very literate w/ computers so of course I knew better than to accept his response & automatically knew he wasnt being honest w/ me. i mean i was born at night, but not lastnight & I knew he was lying to me & that I didnt appreciate him not being honest with me & so he finally confessed. i just had a gut feeling & the pain that i felt back when i was his girlfriend & finding out about it in the past, had returned & now 10 times worse b/c i was his wife now & I had been lied to for 2 years. The confession escaladed into a seriously heated argument & I told him everything i could think of accept that i hated him, b/c no matter how hurt I was, in my heart I knew I didnt feel that way towards him. He admitted that he had an addiction to porn & suggested to seek counseling in order to save our marriage & told me that he had a full blown problem, he wasnt happy with it, & he needed help. He admitted to watching porn off & on through out our whole entire relationship & that he was sorry he broke his promise, & begged me to not leave him. At first I was angry at him, I felt disgusted & betrayed by him. I told him that had I of known about his addiction I probably would of broken up w/ him while we were dating to save myself the heartbreak, & that I didnt want to bring a child into this world who had a pedaphile as a father. I told him that I didnt want our children asking me 'mommy why does daddy have bad things on his phone?" or "mommy why does daddy watch bad things on his computer?" We both wanted children so bad, that we would cry everytime i took a preg. test & it came back neg. the one thing i had always wanted the most was to be a mother & a good wife with an amazing husband & I was set & determined up until this point that my husband was the most flawless, perfect husband in the world. this huge fight was probably the 5th fight we've had in our whole entire relationship & the biggest daddy of them all, let me tell ya. so basically he agreed to get help, & i agreed to stay as long as he never did it again..i told him i would have his back on it all & be their to support him along his way, but i would not be an enabler. i as well applied filters on our internet, cell phones, cable, everything. my husband told me that had he of known that i would of actually considered divorce over it all he never would of done it, b/c he saw how much it hurt me, how heartbroken i was & that alone was, enough for him to never do it again. for the longest time i held a grudge towards him, but i eventually found it within my heart & my self to forgive him. My Husband pursued professional help, & we've been great ever since. God & strength was a huge factor in getting past our hardship.

  16. >I really need some help. Because of my husbands porn addiction, I have lost faith in everything. I don't know how much longer I can go on in this depressed state.
    I first discovered my husband's porn issues after being married for about 2 years. I found it on the computer and he denied it completely. After showing him the proof he admitted to it but said it was only a few times and he promised never to do it again because he loves me and I am enough for him. Well, we have now been married for 6 years. In the last 6 months I discovered the porn again and again, he lied and lied and lied. Finally after literally months of giving him opportunities to be honest with me, he came clean and it was worse than I could have ever imagined. He has a porn addiction and has since we got married. He has always done it and has never stopped. He also has visited strip clubs by himself while on business trips. I love him. We have 2 children together. I have been trying with all I have to be supportive and forgiving but it is killing me. This has truly made me lose sight of myself and what is important to me. I feel disgusting and worthless. He has talked to a psychologist several times now and promises to change. We no longer have the internet but I can't control him when he is not at home. He has lied to me so much that I don't think I can trust when he says he is doing nothing wrong.
    Another point to this story…..I was gang raped when I was 18. I was dating my husband at the time. He watched me go through that horror and saw what it did to me. He watched me stand up to those horrible people in court. He saw my bruises and scars and everything that went along with it. Since that time, I view sex very differently than I used to. It is supposed to be an act of love between 2 people and anything outside of those lines I cannot deal with. He knows all of this so how could he end up addicted to porn??? It is said that people in advanced stages of porn addiction are the ones that commit rape? How can my husband be that kind of person?? I'm so lost. I have nowhere to turn and have reached my end. Please help me. I am only 26 years old and if it weren't for my children, I would truly be ready to leave this life. I need god so badly….but I have lost him.

  17. >Crystal,

    I'm sorry I can't email you, because I don't see your email, so I'll try to answer here!

    First, you haven't lost God. You really haven't. You may not be able to feel Him right now, but He is there. Call out to Him. Ask Him for peace. Ask Him to direct you to people who can really help you.

    Are you in a church? Because you need to be! Find a church with a lot of young families, because I guarantee that these types of churches are used to dealing with problems like this. They're everywhere.

    What you need to do is to gather your group of helpers around you. Find an older mentor (maybe a family member), and some close friends who will walk through this with you and pray for you. Find a church with a good women's Bible study or MOPS group, because there will be women there who can help you.

    Once you have your support group in place, then you really need to confront your husband. Porn use and going to strippers is not acceptable in a marriage, and will kill everything you have together.

    Have him visit xxxchurch.com or pureintimacy.org and read the stories of the men who were involved in porn and had to stop. There are a ton of resources there to help him stop, and a lot of support for you, too.

    I know this is really tough, especially since you have young kids. Just know you are not alone. God is with you, and there are Christians out there who want to help you. You just need to seek them out. So find a good church with a MOPS group or something. Pray that God will lead you to a support group. And then have them pray and support you while you confront him.

    I will pray that God will restore your marriage, because He has restored so many like this already. But even if He doesn't, know that you are never alone. And, with God, you are strong enough to walk through anything.

  18. Gina Parris says:

    >Crystal, God bless you. I'm sure you feel very alone right now, but you are not. I just want to encourage you to take Sheila's advice and we will be standing with you for healing in your marriage and for deliverance for your husband. Like any compulsive behavior, its not about what it appears on the surface. I truly believe all things are possible. You are a dear and brave gal.

  19. I so want to add to this, not only what we think as typically porn a problem! In my marriage, porn of a more personal nature as been a big issue. I used to think that porn was a very impersonal thing, that used images to dehumanize us. What happened in my marriage is that when images started to lose their appeal for my second husband, he found a whole new world, of women willing to be his persoanl porn stars, because he failed to mention that he was married when he met them online. I couldn’t believe that my amazing, loving, awesome husband was capable of this. It nearly shattered my life. I had had a really tough upbringing of abuse of any and all of what you could imagine. That left me a very broken person, and when I married the first time, I found someone who treated me just like the broken person I was, the cycle of abuse just started all over again with a different man. I finally for the sake of my children left that relationship, and raised my childrenon my own for a couple of years.

    I then met my current husband, he was amazing and loving and such a strong man who just seemed to save me…I knew he had a history of viewing and porn, but he reassured me that it was a thing of the past, because I was all he needed. Along the way though there were little glimpses that things were not quite what they seemed, I would cry and get upset, he would apologize. Things would be ok for a while and then there they were again. His private life apart from me was so different from what I saw when he was with me, I couldn’t believe what the evidence prooved. What had happened to tip the sacle was that he had graduated sort of. Images were no longer satisfying and instead he had found women who would be his persoanl porn stars for free, because they thought that was the way to have him be in a realtionship with them. I can’t understand why women would think giving that away online is something that is good for them, can’t they see that they are no longer people but objects, when they choose that path. Long story short, one time the woman found out he was married and just diddn’t care, she wanted what she wanted no matter who she hurt to get it. She began contacting me and harrassing him, it was insane, something that I just wasn’t equipped to deal with. I just wanted to protect myself and my children. It took this extreme to finally get him to understand what his addiction was doing to our family. It has been a long and very hard road, with some relapses but with prayer and councilling adn lots of tears on both sides, we are getting there. Now there are more good days than bad, but we are getting there. The free and easy attitude about sex now adays is destoying so many lives, I just pray that we could get people understand it, really understand it and save families like mine the heartbreak and pain.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t you talk about emotional porn Sheila? How women will watch movie after movie of relationship porn and worship that and think it is so wonderful, yet it is the same exact thing just a different medium… instead of skin, it is emotions and feeling of some chick-flick or some romance novel that is tempting women. And society thinks that is good and valuable, in fact it is commonly accepted in Christian circles as being something not only ok to watch but something to be sought after.

    • I actually have talked about that in a number of posts, but not every post can cover every subject. I completely agree with you that romance novels and movies can be very detrimental to a marriage, but in this particular post we’re exploring the sexual side of the marriage, and so I’m talking about that kind of porn. But I do agree with you that the other is also dangerous.

  21. I’m struggling big time. I’m on my second marriage. The 1st one lasted about 6yrs and I had one child. It was mostly not a pleasant marriage but I went though the majority of it with blinders on and didn’t find out until it was basicly over that he had been cheating on me quite a bit. This all started with me catching him looking at porn a few times and him telling me he would never do it again and it was only a few times. As far as I was conserned cheating on me with other women was the end of the marriage so I divorced him. I am now married to a man who as a whole has been wonderful. He is very kind and likes to please, he works hard and has taken in my daughter of the 1st marriage like she is his own. He helped me though the divorce and has delt very well with the fact that my ex husband is still in our lived due to the fact that we share custody. He was a smoker when we started dating and agreed to quite cause I told him I couldn’t live with a smoker. He relapsed a few times but I believe he has not smoked in about 3yrs. We now have a 2yr old daughter together as well as my 10yr old. I’ve also voiced concernes for many years that i didn’t like him sitting down and drinking a six pack at home with the children around. I’m not a drinker and he was raised as one, Occationally he has also had bouts with abbusing robotussin as a means to get light headed. He is normally a high strung personality and very go getting so he talks fast and is aggressive about getting things done, and even has a hard time getting to sleep without a sleep aid. The other bouncing around addictions have caused me anguish but have not made me want to leave the marriage. The Pornography however has. I have caught him on 2 different occations looking at pornographic material after I initially told him that I was seriously against it. the last time I caucht him looking at internet porn I gave him an ultimatum that I would not stay if it happened again. now, 6months later I found it again. I had some kind of a break down but I didn’t leave. I called my ex husband and told him what happened cause I couldnt’ think of anything that would hurt him more. Then I told him that I called him just to get his reaction. Which although I could tell he was highly aggitated he reacted very calmly as he had for the 2 days since I last found it and flipped out on him verbally. He fully admited that he did it and it was wrong and he was sorry bla bla bla same stuff he said last time. I do not believe or trust him. Nor do I feel better after having “Got retaliation” cause my heart wasn’t in it and I feel as though his heart was in what he was doing cause he knew what it would mean to our marriage if he did it again. He said he admitted being slightly addicted to doing “bad” things. and porn was just one of them and after having gone to a councelor for a diagnosise he said she says he is not an adict of any kind he just needed to find a hobby to take up his spare time and sence overeating was one of his bad habbits she sent him to weight watcher meetings and said that that would fix all the other over indulgences as well. He also told me that He was doing it for himself and not me and so he did not want to have to tell me about what goes on at the meetings cause it was detrimental to his ego and that I was to tell NOBODY about it cause if I did he would be very angry. All of this scares me VERY much and I feel like he is not going to make this stop by going to weight watchers, what do they have to do with anything other than loseing weight. He said he is getting help and he doesn’t want to hear another word about it. So what am I supose to do. Am I being an over jelous non forgiving woman who is projecting fears from her past marriage onto this little bad habbit? Am I crazy? What do I do?

    • I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. I don’t have an easy and quick answer, except to say that your husband sounds like he has a lot of dependency issues, and ultimately you can only get over those with God’s help. We can’t do it in our own strength.

      Porn is such a serious problem, but many men don’t see it that way. We women feel helpless, because we tell them we don’t want them to do it, but they often do anyway. And then what power do we have to stop them unless we leave? And we don’t want to do that.

      There are times when leaving may be your only option, but I would say that, in most cases, you want to stop enabling any destructive behaviour, work on fostering a good friendship so that you have a foundation of goodwill, and then let him bear the consequences of his actions. You can’t change him; he has to decide to change himself. I wish there were an easy answer, but there isn’t. Just keep working on your friendship so you feel close, and then keep telling him how you feel about the porn. And pray hard that your husband will begin to hear God’s voice and turn to Him.

  22. Candice says:

    When I first started dating my husband he was truthful about his past addition. I asked him to continue to be open with me and tell me if he started using porn again.

    I have always been told I was attractive, but I felt like I had to always beg him to be intimate with me. He swore nothing was wrong. He travels a lot for work. He was stressed. Didn’t like his job. I believed him, because I loved him.

    One month after we got married I caught him. After he ruined our honeymoon. I was so angry, hurt, shocked that he cheated on me. If you are using porn instead of being intimate with your girlfriend/spouse you are cheating. I tried understanding, so I asked questions. It just made it worse. He would look up women with really large breasts. I was a C cup size 4. He didn’t care if they were large in body has long as they were large on top. He put on the software and states he hasn’t done it in over a year, but I don’t know how to heal myself.

    I gained weight to get larger breasts. Watched porn with him to see if that helped, went to the strip club. Now, I’m unhappy with my weight and feel even uglier then when he would rather have porn and he still into big breasts. How do I get over it? Where do I go? If that is really what he is into than why his he with me?

  23. I am so tired of the statement that men are wired to be visually stimulated being used as a crutch. Yes men are wired to be visually stimulated! God made them that way so they would be captivated by their wives. Yes porn is easy to acess but so is your wife who is probably in the other room. Go look at her. Its just as easy to access as porn is. Men don’t want to put in the work to increase the bond in their relationship so that their wife is more visually available to stimulate them. So instead of growing up and doing the work that is needed to enjoy a successful relationship it is easier to allow it fall apart and look at porn then whine that their wife isn’t sexually interested. Well guess what women are wired to be emotionally stimulated. We actually break down without it. what is so awful is that not only are porn addicted men choosing to look at other women to please themselves instead of working on emotional closeness with their wife they then emotionally abuse the woman that they have been emotionally abandoning. Men and women were made perfectly for each other. Men are wired to be visually stimulated so that they will be captivated by their wifes. Women produce oxytocin so that when they are making love they feel emotionally bonded to their husband .It is time that men started requiring more of them selves. What has happened to honor? Porn is not an addiction, it is a weakness. Men are selling out their families to look at someone who does not even want them and probably would never speak to them. This is coming from a woman that used to be in the adult industry. Men listen to me porn stars think your stupid and worthless. They are actually getting off on the power they have to make you want them so badly your willing to ruin your life and pay them to do it. People in the adult industry make their money by learning how to get into your mind any way they can. Once you are addicted they might feel pity for you. The very fact that you would be willing to ruin your life in order to avoid dealing with your problems and that you would actually pay them to look at them when you have a wife to look at for free is repulsive to people in the adult industry. People in the entertainment and porn industry have deep issues. Drug and alcohol use is a way for them to escape dealing with their problems however most people in the industry do seek to gain a deeper understanding of them selves and of life. The very fact that the addict is using them to avoid developing a closer relationship with their wife reminds the porn star of their abandonment issues and causes a deep feeling of hate. The porn star or entertainer then exploits the addict. Please listen to me men! I beg of you to love yourself more. You are ruining your lives over the image of a body and an orgasm. Your giving away your gaze that belongs to your wife to a porn star that hates you for what you are.You are willing to ruin your childrens lives over a person who takes all of your money and your life and laughs at your pain because they think your getting exactly what you deserve for being so weak. Women porn stars know that your wife loves you and see your actions as abandoning someone who needs your love. This is a pain that the woman porn star has probably experienced and continues to experience at work as the men that just paid to look at her go home to the wifes they just sold out to look at her. Not only do they hate you that you are the type of person to abandon your wife but they hate you that they are then abandoned in the end. Look I know my comment shows that I still have issues I am coping with but I don’t run and pay someone to be fake to me when I have the real thing at home. I am not a chump. Would you be able to be aroused by the image of the beautiful naked woman if you could hear all of the mean things she was thinking about you as she was taking your money? How could you turn your back on a woman that loves you to pay to look at a woman who hates you and would never let you touch her? Your wife does not want a husband who is addicted to porn and neither does the porn star.

    • Thank you for writing this….shares so much insight!

    • Dear Nikki,

      I think your story should be plastered all over the Internet for all these foolish men to see! I caught my husband looking at porn about 3-1/2 years ago on his history. We have not been intimate
      In over two years and I’m so angry right now. I don’t know for sure that he’s still viewing it, but come on, all this time without any physical relationship …I’d have to be blind to think he isn’t. My husband has a computer in his office so I can’t see his history and he turned off his web history so I don’t have
      Real evidence. After reading all the stories of other women with porn addicted husbands it makes sense that the porn use is continuing. I feel awful like many of you with no self esteem, it’s so damaging! My husband has stopped praying and religion has become unimportant to him. I feel like screaming! I really appreciate the way you spell it out for these men, and yes, I’m tired of the excuses
      People make for a mans bad behavior. I might print your story and hand it to my husband I feel like it could be the “cold shower” that these men need. Thank you Nikki, I loved your no-nonsense post!

    • Preach it sister.

      I’ve read some about the “adult industry” as you call it before. And this is pretty much the impression I’ve formed. That no woman really participates in it freely. It absolutely infuriates me that people can say it’s no big deal, no-one is getting hurt. Like hell they aren’t. Keep preaching it girl.

      There are actually young men out there who care about not exploiting women who thinks porn is ok. Please keep telling them that its not. It’s a gaint web of lies that feeds off pain, lies and abuse to create more pain and anguish.

  24. Excellent article, I only hope I can follow the advice. My husbands addiction to pornography just surfaced followed by a half hearted confession on his part. He still thinks he doesn’t have a problem. When I look back at our 8 year marriage, the addiction has always been there, I just didn’t realize it. I suspected another woman perhaps, but not a porn addiction. There have been many lies, many actions by him that did not make sense and no sex hardly to speak of. We haven’t been intimate in 3 years and very little before that. Actually, I feel like he only used sex long enough to court and marry me. Things changed drastically after the “I do’s”. My biggest fear is I believe his addiction has been so long standing, I fear it has now gone to seeking prostitutes. So even with all the advice of your article, I have to ask myself where I am if this is so. It’s hard to rebuild intimacy if you’re risking a sexually transmitted disease. I’m 55 years old, this was to be my last attempt at a real, honest, loving marriage and I threw myself into the marriage with all I had after being divorced for 11 years. Again, I have been betrayed and I wonder if I have “dumb ass” written on my forehead. How did I manage to attrack someone like this? What is it about me that has managed to attrack someone so calculating. They have to be in order to live the double life it takes to keep feeding such an addiction. If I cannot get him to fully admit to himself, let alone me, to what extent he is addicted I see the marriage heading for divorce. That’s probably as it should be in order to protect my health and well being.

    • Debbie, you’re not stupid at all! Don’t even think that. So many women face this. I’d say that if he has this big a problem you likely can’t handle it on your own. You really need to bring in reinforcements on your side. Have you read this other piece, where a former porn addict gives some advice? Perhaps that’s more what you need to do.

  25. Charlotte says:

    Tears

    Thank you again for writing. I am being so encouraged. The part about taking it slow and letting him discover is so good. I just started crying because I have longed for that but he could always just get right to it. It helped me look forward to that time when we start retraining his impulses. I so want to do that with him.
    I also appreciated the part about preparing for him to be fidgity, moody and coming off of an addiction. It makes so much sense.

    Thank you sister, we little sisters need your wisdom!!
    Charlotte
    We are 33 hours free of this terrible beast

    • Charlotte, congratulations on those 33 hours! Those first few days after discovery are so hard. But God is there, and it seems as if God has given you hope. Remember that God can do AMAZING things, more than you can ask or imagine. And I pray that this will be true in your marriage, too!

  26. I’ve had problems with my husband looking at porn. I thought porn was outta my life until the other night. I went to see what was taking my husband. so long coming back to bed. To my surprise he would rather look at porn near where the garbage is kept then come look at his wife. I’m an attractive skinny good looking women, porn is looked at by men whether their women are super attractive, overweight to me they are just perverts. I don’t want it in my life, he promised me after we bought a race bike that would be the only thing he needed, it’s been going well for the first couple months but obviously didn’t last. I told him I don’t want to be involved with the race bike anymore, or watch him race. We also felt that race bike was going to be a way our family could get closer, so since he chose the porn instead of me or our family I just don’t want to even bother. I read the part where you want to be naked together explore each other without the sex will help bring us closer, what to do if you just went right to being with your husband again, will that make things worse for us? I’m about to let go of a 17 year relationship if I can’t come out ahead this time!!

  27. I just want to cry with each of you and the stories you tell of your lives. I too have been there and am working through the ramifications of my husband’s addiction to pornography. Please know that failure is inevitable without some sort of intervention. I know, we tried so many times. He will tell you he will never do it again. Don’t believe him! He does not have the power to do it alone!!! It took a major event in our life to bring the sexual addiction in our marriage out in the open. There was no turning back. No more secrets. To all of you hurting and suffering, please check out Every Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn. The book is great but the workshop is LIFE CHANGING!!! My husband attended last year and our marriage has been restored. He’s battled pornography secretly for 25 years and is breaking free. We have such a long story to tell that is nowhere near finished but God is working it all out for His good. There is a similar conference for women dealing with the issues of their spouse’s/boyfriend’s sexual addiction called Women in the Battle. It was amazing and so freeing to meet others like me with similar stories. I no longer feel so alone.

  28. Shouldn’t the husband share with the wife the steps he is taking to overcome his addiction? My husband tells me it’s none of my business which leaves me in the dark and thinking the worst. How is it not my business?! I do not trust him. He told me before we were married (almost 2 years ago) that he did not have a problem with pornography until I walked in on him our first year and caught him red-handed. He tried to deny it then…he has lied several times which has been VERY hurtful… I would have never married him if I had known. He knew how painful this struggle was between me and my father when I would catch him. I feel betrayed, angry and resentful. I do not want to be married to him because of this. He does not initiate sex with me but once every 6 weeks and I have tried, but am unsuccessful. I am having an extremely difficult time forgiving him as I feel he continue to disrespect me by not sharing the steps he is taking to kick this addiction. He says he has an accountability partner at church and that’s all I need to know. Well, when he wants sex I wonder why…is it because he just saw a fantasy and wants to re-enact it? Or is it because he really wants to be with ME? I don’t desire him anymore because of this problem… Aren’t we supposed to talk about this?

  29. I also wanted to add that I find myself becoming attracted to other men as a result of his addiction….and also enjoying the attention they give me because I do not get it at home.

  30. Thank you for posting this. This has been my marriage completely. My husband wants to stop so bad but so far in our 16 year marriage he hasn’t been able to. I love him but his addiction has taken all of my self esteem and ability to trust. I feel completely empty. I’m not sure how much longer I can hold on. Is there any hope?

  31. I appreciate everyone’s comments. I’m not sure if it gives me hope but at least I’m not alone.

  32. Anonymous says:

    my husband has had an issue with porn for a long time. We have been married almost two years and right after our year anniversary is when all the problems started. I found the porn so many times and never once thought about leaving because I thought that that’s not what God would want me to do. I finally told him one day that im not having children with him until its stopped and that if I find it im leaving..but since then I haven’t found it on his phone. anyways we are in marriage counseling and he says that he is not watching porn anymore but I just can’t believe him. our marriage counselors think he is doing good but I have such a hard time believing it. The past year he really hasn’t wanted anything to do with me sexually.. and still doesn’t. it’s been at least two months since he’s stopped watching. So im like maybe it just takes time? I just feel so damaged from this whole thing. it’s so hurtful. I just want it to hurry up and go away. I know I just need to trust God. it’s just so hard.

  33. I have yet to see the subject of how shared porn interests have affected a marriage. My husband and I have entertained and have used porn in our marriage for most of the 10 years we have been married. His interaction with it has always been more involved than mine. But…in order to satisfy him, his fantasies became my fantasies. Because now we are becoming more spiritual, we are learning that what we have been doing isn’t right. We have reaped the repurcussions of what this level of excitement can do to our marriage. We have entertained the thought of bringing infedelity into our marriage, unrealistic fantasies and etc. Now that we are a little more grounded and rebuilding our marriage, we don’t now how to acheive genuine intimacy in our love making. We are both still very attractted to each other, but it seems my husbands libido is lacking more than mine. Any suggestions?
    Sugar recently posted…Sonnet XVIIMy Profile

  34. Taking things slowly with hubby totally makes sense. BUT what do I do about how hungry I am for sex. I’m wondering if any other wives are feeling the same. If they feel crazy. Or even tempted to have a little go at porn or mastirbation themselves JUST to get thru. I know in my headt its wrong,and that a part of me only wants to do that to hurt him (in the hope of seeing that he cares.. Since im feeling generaly unwanted) but I KNOW it’s the worst idea everand that praying for God to take the edge off will help/or is the right thing to do. I jist hate that I saved sex for marriage, get into marriage and realise im basically waiting again. Im married. Im allowed to want sex. But I canthave it. Might help to mention that the contraceptive pill im on has made an impact on my hormones… I feel like extremes. Libido too. We’re getting counselling. And I know we’ll get thruokay. I just hate living in the samehouse with a sexy man that I cant touch, have sex with. Id rather we had have worked thru this in our engagement . Unfortunately lies surround porn so I never knew. I feel ripped off.

  35. I have been clean from p&m for almost two months and all I want is be intimate with my wife again but she doesn’t want none of it. I have tried to initiate sex for the past 5 days and every night there is an excuse or straight “no touching” allowed rule.

    I know it is my fault, I am the one that was addicted and now I am reaping the concecuences. I am not going back to the same lifestyle but it would be nice to know how long I have to wait until we can have some sort of sexual life again. Also, I am trying to be the best and attentive in other aspects of our marriage but am I being selfish for wanting sex while my wife is trying to figure things out?

  36. Just throwing this out there… this article seems to focus on just men being addicted to porn. Women get addicted just as easily. Add that on top of all our emotional and mental struggles that we face during intimacy, marriage, and sex and you’ve got yourself a serious issue. Maybe write a blog post telling women how to overcome a porn addiction and find intimacy and enjoyment in making love to their husbands again. Just a thought.

  37. I would have read every word if the start of blog had hinted to covering the addiction from both his & her point of view. To look at the one addicted to the porn as sometimes her & not always him. Having just been diagnosed as being a Sex & Love Addict. Porn & Sexting were my vice. Sad that there is so little known or shared about it.

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. Any comment that espouses an anti-marriage philosophy (eg. porn, adultery, abuse and the like) will be deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are replying to another commenter, please be polite and don't assume you know everything about his or her situation. If you are constantly negative or a general troll, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Sheila Wray Gregoire owns the copyright to all comments and may publish them in whatever form she sees fit. She agrees to keep any publication of comments anonymous, even if you are not anonymous on this board.

Trackbacks

  1. […] you. So if this is the issue, it must be addressed. I’ve written before on this topic, on how to recover from a pornography addiction. I think it will […]

  2. […] not saying that you should make love no matter what: even if he’s having an affair, or he’s into pornography, or he makes you feel dirty. Absolutely not. But in a regular marriage there needs to be give and […]

  3. […] I was so touched by all the comments yesterday on my Wifey Wednesday post about pornography. […]

  4. […] Last week we were talking about the harm pornography can do to a marriage–but we were looking at it primarily from a “man uses pornography” standpoint. […]

  5. […] the last week we’ve been talking about a really difficult subject: pornography. I know not everybody […]

  6. […] to help your husband get off of porn. After he has stopped using porn, then you’ll need to rebuild your sex life, by starting slowly and helping you both get reacquainted with real intimacy. Don’t rush […]

  7. […] that didn’t used to activate them before. And thus we’re literally rewiring our brains (porn has this same effect on men, by the […]

  8. […] the problem is not with you. It’s that he’s become aroused by outside images. So rebuild your sex life slowly, helping him to learn to be present in the moment and to be aroused just by both of you making love […]

  9. […] The problem with porn is not ONLY that you’re looking at someone other than your wife; the problem with porn is that it makes sex into something which is entirely about the physical and not about a relationship. It makes sex into “I’m going to lust and get my needs met”, rather than “we’re going to experience this together.” And that is a very, very difficult thing to break. In fact, in many ways that’s harder than the porn. A guy may find that he’s able to give up porn, but he may not find that his sex drive for his wife comes back. It may stay dormant. It doesn’t mean she’s not attractive; it’s just that he’s trained his body to respond to anonymous images, and not to a relationship. And that takes time to deal with (and I talk about how to recover from porn here). […]

  10. […] Marriage Recovery after a Pornography Addiction […]

  11. […] the brain to become aroused by true intimacy, and not just anonymous images. Here’s a post on sexual recovery from a porn addiction, which includes some exercises on learning how to become vulnerable and truly naked with each […]

Leave a Comment

*

CommentLuv badge